Avalanche quartet named to 2022 NHL All-Star Game, Denver native Terry also cracks lineup
Three Colorado Avalanche players and head coach Jared Bednar will represent the team at 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend, which will be held Feb. 4-5 in Las Vegas.
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon will serve as the Central Division captain, while defenseman Cale Makar was also named to the team and forward Nazem Kadri won the “Last Man In” fan vote for the division to earn his spot.
In addition, Denver native and former Colorado Thunderbirds, Littleton Hawks and University of Denver star Troy Terry earned his spot on the Pacific Division squad, winning the “Last Man In” vote there.
Terry has scored 22 goals and 36 points in 38 games this season for the Anaheim Ducks, establishing new single-season career highs in scoring, goals and assists. Among NHL leaders, Terry ranks third in shooting percentage (24.4%), tied for third in game-winning goals (five) and overtime goals (two), tied for fourth in even-strength goals (16) and sixth in goals (22). He also recorded a career-high 16-game point streak from Oct. 18-Nov 18 (12 goals, 10 assists, 22 points), the second-longest point streak in the NHL this season behind the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid.
Bednar becomes the first coach in Avalanche history to serve as a head coach at the NHL All-Star Game. He is the third Avs coach to participate in the NHL All-Star Game, joining Bob Hartley (2000-01) and Marc Crawford (1995-96), who were both selected as assistant coaches.
Under the All-Star selection process, the head coach of the team with the highest points percentage in each of the four divisions through games of Monday, Jan. 10 will guide the respective All-Star rosters. Bednar’s Avalanche lead the Central Division with a .719 points percentage (22-8-2 record).
This marks the third consecutive All-Star Game that MacKinnon will serve as the Central Division’s captain, as he also wore the ‘C’ in 2018-19 and 2019-20 (there was no event last year). He and Joe Sakic (2003-04) are the only Avalanche players to captain an All-Star team.
MacKinnon (pictured) will be making his fifth consecutive All-Star Game appearance, the first Avalanche player to be selected to five consecutive All-Star Games since Peter Forsberg was chosen for six straight from 1995-96 to 2000-01.
In fact, MacKinnon’s run of five straight selections is the fourth-longest streak in franchise history behind Sakic (eight, 1989-90 to 1997-98), Michel Goulet (six, 1982-83 to 1987-88) and Forsberg (six, 1995-96 to 2000-01).
MacKinnon has recorded 40 points (nine goals, 31 assists) in 26 games this season, ranking him fourth in the NHL in points-per-game (1.52). He ranks sixth in the league in assists. MacKinnon registered a 13-game point streak from Dec. 1 to Jan. 8, tied for the third-longest streak in the NHL this season.
Makar will make his first career All-Star Game appearance and is the first Avalanche defenseman to be named to the NHL All-Star Game since Erik Johnson in 2014-15.
Johnson, however, did not participate in the event due to injury and thus Makar is aiming to be the first Colorado blueliner to play in an NHL All-Star Game since Rob Blake in 2003-04.
Makar leads all NHL defensemen with 16 goals in 32 games this season, joining Bobby Orr as the only defensemen in the modern era (since 1943-44) to score 16 or more goals prior to their 30th contest of a season. Orr had 19 through 29 games in 1974-75 and 17 in 1973-74. Makar’s 16 tallies are the most by an Avalanche blueliner in a single season since Rob Blake had 17 in 2002-03.
Makar also leads all NHL blueliners in points-per-game (1.17) and game-winning goals (four), while his 37 points rank fourth. Makar is tied with Mikko Rantanen for the team lead in goals and ranks first on the Avs in game-winning tallies. Thirteen of his 16 goals have come at even strength, tops on the club and by far the most of any NHL defender.
Among Makar’s highlights so far this season are his 100th career point on Oct. 28 at St. Louis, tied for the sixth-fastest blueliner in history to reach 100, setting a franchise record for a defenseman with a five-game goal streak from Nov. 17-26 and posting the highest single month points/game average (1.75 in November) by a rearguard since Ray Bourque (1.80) in March 1994.
Kadri will be making his first appearance at an NHL All-Star Game. He leads the Avalanche and ranks fifth in league scoring with 49 points (14 goals, 35 assists) in 33 games this season. He ranks second in the NHL in assists and is fourth in points-per-game (1.48). He also sits among the league leaders in multi-point games (tied for second with 16), power-play points (tied for ninth with 16) and power-play assists (tied for 10th with 11).
With Kadri joining MacKinnon and Makar, this year marks the first time that three Avalanche players were selected to the NHL All-Star Game since 2018-19, when MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Rantanen represented the team in San Jose.
MacKinnon was not able to participate due to injury but did serve as one of the Central Division’s coaches behind the bench during that event.
The last time three Avalanche players participated in an NHL All-Star Game was 2003-04, when Blake, Sakic and Alex Tanguay competed for the Western Conference in Minnesota.
(January 19, 2022)